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Beyond the Bow: Heart attack survivor becomes CEO of hospital that saved his life

Many people hope they never have to go back to the hospital after leaving, but one man not only came back: he became a leader.

ODESSA, Texas — Everyday people come through Medical Center Hospital's doors.

Some end up coming back for more treatment while others thankfully don't end up needing to come back.

But it's not every day that someone comes back to the hospital that saved their life to become he man in charge.

Russell Tippin was once a patient at MCH.

"A while back when I was at my son's baseball practice, all of a sudden I noticed that I couldn't open my mouth. My jaw was locked down and when I started moving and started realizing something was wrong I went and sat down and when I sat down that pain from my jaw went straight into to my chest. And I knew right then that I was going to have serious problems. So I made my way to the emergency room and then I was transferred over here at Medical Center and I was a patient in this very room and I actually had a very life saving procedure right here in this very room," says Russell Tippin, a former patient of MCH and a heart attack survivor.

That lifesaving procedure was performed by Dr. Angirekula and his team that day.

"At the time we were sure that he was having a heart attack. I told the emergency physicians time is muscle. So the quicker we can get him here the better help we can provide… We were able to open the artery that was closed and causing the heart attack and was able to save most of his heart muscle," Angirekula said.

Russell Tippin did end up having to come back to the hospital, not for more treatment but instead for a job at the hospital that saved his life.

Today he's better known as a leader.

"I am the President and CEO of Medical Center Health System… Being a patient here and being a survivor here makes my job even that much more special to me because I know what it feels like to be the patient laying on the table or in the bed and I know the kind of care that I want our patients to get is the same kind that I've had," Tippin said.

Tippin has since made a full recovery from his heart-attack.

He has experience working in healthcare, but it's his experience as a patient in Medical Center that best helps him do his job with the patients' best interests in mind.

He lets nothing stand in the way of performing his duties President and CEO.

He feels he was always meant to be here.

"When this spot came open I think it was divine intervention that put me in this spot and made things fall into place and it's worked out so far so good I'd say," Tippin said.

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